Amazon.com Inc. is a giant retail e-commerce platform that was well known in 1997. It is an American based multinational technology company, it is considered among the biggest companies along with Google, Apple, and Microsoft. It operates on a global platform with its business segments in North America. The company offers retail sales for consumer products with an international focus. Amazon.com was selected since it has long been criticized for its lack of commitment towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in its business activities. Furthermore, the company’s’ business executive was appointed in 2014, however, recently, Amazon.com has several CSR programs and policy initiatives (Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, n.d.).
Amazon.com excels in various areas of social responsibility including support to the local communities, education and empowering its employees, gender equality among the minorities, energy and water consumption at Amazon.com, and waste reduction initiative. The code of ethics at Amazon is highlighted in various areas of its policy, which currently resonates with the area of corporate responsibility. The company's code of ethics involves all employees, directors, and officers of the company. Amazon.com's code of ethics is based on integrity, excellence, respect, and accountability which reflects on the commitment to take account of the critical components of economic, philanthropic, legal, and ethical. The code of ethics highlights that Amazon.com employees should act ethically and lawfully consistent with the interests of the company. The various levels of the organization are included in the guidelines on how they are covered in ethics and associate responsibilities. The company code of ethics stipulates what the company requires of its employees that assists Amazon.com maintain its commitment to provide value to the society as well as the community.
A2. Legal Mandate Compliance
Amazon.com contains the Code of Business and Ethics document that outlines the basic guiding principles that employees need to adhere to. The code has twelve sections that include compliance with the law, rules and regulations, discrimination, health and safety, and conflict of interest. Amazon.com employees are required to act ethically and legally, acquainted with the regulations of the company. Employees should always abide by the company rules and regulations as well as to inquire about the applicability and interpretation of the rules through the company's legal department. The company’s code of ethics critically outlines the legal mandates as required by the law. Amazon.com stipulates its prospects concerning the compliance with regulations. Amazon.com strictly respects compliance to regulations because it has a legal department that emphasizes claims to copyright infringement and intellectual property.
Moreover, the legal department is well established with over 800 lawyers in different offices globally ready to answer concerns of the employee's regarding Amazon.com laws, rules, and regulations. The code of conduct further highlight's the importance of employees abiding by the rules and regulations. In the occurrence of a conflict with the local laws and regulations, Amazon.com's legal department gives guidance to the international and local rules that apply and the direction of applying the statement of ethics. There is an anonymous number that employees are can reach out to the legal department for advice and questions. According to Amazon.com code of business and ethics, the company highlights assurance with the compliance with legal mandates. Therefore, Amazon.com's code of ethics covers compliance with a legal mandate.
A2A. Implications of Noncompliance
Amazon.com employees are strictly required to adhere to the laws, rules, and regulations of the company. The primary risk that Amazon.com is exposed is litigation; involvement with unlawful activities would result in significant loss of trust from customers as well as suppliers, hence damaging its reputation. Amazon.com's business model is primarily dependent on its business operation within the law. It is imperative that employees fully understand and comply with company rules since violation or infringement of the codes of conduct would result in disciplinary actions. Moreover, infringement of the laws would result in the exposure of the company to whistleblowers, lawsuits, and integrity issues in both the United States and other countries of operation.
Amazon.cm uses the cloud security and compliance standards approach which is continually evolving with the changing business environment as well as regulations. Employees are informed about the significance of complying with legal mandates and the consequences of not complying with the law. Amazon.com employees are required to report to the legal department or their immediate manager. Furthermore, Amazoon.com has the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics where any supposed non-compliance. The legal department highlights the consequences associated with not abiding with the legal mandates of Amazon.com which include trade sanctions, loss of revenue, and criminal charges, which are detrimental to the reputation and status of the company. Employees are required to follow the law and violations might result in termination.
A2B. Legal or Ethical Safeguard
The laws, rules, and regulations in place protect employees from illegal acts such as intimidation when raising a concern. The presence of a legal department in the company safeguards employees and sellers to confine and get legal assistance. When the company removes particular privileges such as suspension of a seller, the Amazon.com seller lawyers in the legal department play a key role in drafting an appeal. The policy ensures the root cause of the violation and the steps taken to resolve the particular issue are considered to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. Further, Amazon.com has emphasized strict case reporting guidelines for interested parties who would like to report any violation of the company rules and regulations. Each reported issue is thoroughly examined by the Amazon team, however, because of privacy issues, the outcomes of the investigation and not publicly disclosed and the required disciplinary action will be taken when required.
Amazon.com provides different categories of issues that can be reported including buyer violation, listing abuse, or a specific selling policy. Therefore, the strict mode of reporting ensures the protection of employees as well as the investigation process. Amazon.com ensures that employees, sellers, and buyers understand the rules by approving they have read and understand the code of business conduct and ethics and avoid misconduct. Amazon.com has an insider trading policy that underscores the policies concerning trading windows, which helps caution employees of taking advantage of the information they acquire from Amazon. Moreover, Amazon.com ensures that all management levels including the board of directors comply with the code of ethics and encourage sellers, buyers, and company employees to follow the laid out laws, rules, and regulations.
A3. Development of an Ethical Culture
The ethical culture at Amazon.com is primarily implied during employee, sellers, and buyer interaction. The ethical culture is tied around the company's five core values that include innovation, customer service, integrity, the bias for action, and excellence. Therefore, this promotes a healthy and safe working environment from dangers and intimidation. Amazon.com toughly discourages bad behaviors and encourages employees, suppliers, and customers to act ethically, lawfully, and for the best interest of the company. The company's ethical statement is simple for users to understand and specific to ensure that buyers, sellers, and employees maintain safe working practices.
A4. Raising an Ethical Concern
Amazon.com provides different avenues that the buyer, seller, or the employee can report ethical concerns. The company contains a structured reporting system that entails reporting to manage or a complaint that can be raised via the company website. A complaint can be raised at any moment and the process of reporting and investigation is confidential. Moreover, an employee can report an issue concerning the code of conduct to the legal department. Employees are easily shown by the step by step guide on how to report non-compliance or misconduct.
A4a. Available Resources
When ethical misconduct does not directly involve the supervisor or the manager, the appropriate place to raise the concern is through the immediate manager while following the command protocol. However, if the manager does not take appropriate action, I will escalate it to the legal department and follow up. The legal department contains an online interaction segment that is appropriate and easier to use. The legal department maintains and updates the guidelines for workers wishing to report violations of the code of conduct. The online platform contains a field that requires an employee to describe their issue to facilitate investigation and contact methods that can include a telephone number or email. Amazon.com requires each employee to fully corporate in the internal investigations conducted for any reported non-compliance or misconduct.
A4b. Preferred Resources
The best avenue I would choose to report any misconduct or noncompliance would be through the management chain. As an employee, I would prefer to contact the manager first since managers need to have a founded relationship with their juniors to establish trust. Employees need to feel comfortable with their managers and raise any concerns relating to the company code of conduct and ethics. Unless the misconduct directly involves my manager or supervisor, I will follow the chain of command. Subsequently, I will directly forward the case to the legal department if my immediate manager or supervisor is involved in the violation of the Amazon.com code of business conduct and ethics.
B1: Whistle-Blowing Factors
The first thing that I will consider is to follow the required chain of command while reporting a violation of the code of business ethics at Amazon.com. it is imperative to adhere to the protocol while escalating an issue, however, when I do not get the desired response, I will resort to seeking more assistance from a higher rank in the management chain or contact the legal department. However, before doing that, there are several factors that I will consider including a reflection of the motives, personal advancement, the payback, the consequences, whether I will be doing the right thing for both the company as well as other employees and the community, buyer or the seller. Primarily, an employee needs to consider whether they are ready for the potential reparations of the case. Moreover, it is also important to deliberate on power relationships, whether there is an individual that is ready to support the cause. Subsequently, stakeholders play a critical role in the progress of the company, therefore, both advantages and disadvantages should be factored.
Personal issues that should be considered include the impact on employee's family, if reporting an issue is payback or revenge, whether the action merits violation of the specific code of business ethics as highlighted by Amazon.com subsequently, is the view of reporting the misconduct sufficient enough to merit the consequences notwithstanding the non-retaliation rules. The timing of reporting should also be appropriate, there should be enough time for investigation. Sufficient time should also be dedicated to considering alternatives available. An employee should know the specific laws, rules, or regulations that are vi...
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